To start, let’s take a look at which forwards will be fantasy studs this NHL season.
Stud forward of the 2013 fantasy hockey season
Pittsburgh Penguins center/right wing Evgeni Malkin
This should come as no surprise that I project Malkin to be a fantasy stud this season. In the 2011/12 NHL season, Malkin scored 885 fantasy points. Although this total was only the 29th most fantasy points among all NHL players, Malkin was still ranked the number one fantasy player based off position and importance to fantasy owners. (via Yahoo! Sports)
Malkin scored the second most goals, fourth most assists and the fourth most game-winning goals. Another positive to Malkin, is that fantasy owners can start him at the center or right wing position.
Other Stud forwards
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos
Stamkos scored 911 fantasy points last season and was ranked the second best fantasy player.
Philadelphia Flyers center/right wing Claude Giroux
Giroux was recently named the newest captain of the Flyers and is coming off a season where he ranked fourth in total fantasy points scored with 1115.
Detroit Redwings left wing Pavel Datsyuk
Datsyuk scored the second most fantasy points of all left wings last season with 939. Also, during this year’s NHL lockout, Datsyuk had himself an impressive season in the KHL, where he collected 36 points in 31 games. (via Detroit News.com)
Pittsburgh Penguins Center Sidney Crosby
Due to Crosby suffering from concussion like systems, he was only able to play in 22 games last season. Despite missing 60 games, Crosby was still able to put up 29 assists and 325 fantasy points.
Boston Bruins center/right wing Tyler Seguin
Seguin had himself a quality fantasy season last year. In only his second season in the NHL, Seguin had the second best plus/minus of all NHL players; with a +34, and was ranked the 19th best fantasy player.
Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog
In Landeskog’s 2011/12 rookie season, he led the Avalanche in goals, third in total points and was ranked the 43rd best fantasy player.
On September 4th, 2012, Landeskog was named the youngest captain in NHL history and with Colorado’s top scoring forward Ryan O’Reilly still unsigned, Landeskog may have to take on an even larger role than last year.
I expect the young captain to rise to the occasion, produce a quality amount of fantasy points and assert himself as a top fantasy player this season.
Dud forward of the 2013 fantasy hockey season
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin disappointed many Capitals' fans and fantasy owners last season, as he was projected to be the third best fantasy player. In the end, Ovechkin could only score 38 goals, 372 fantasy points and was ranked the 39th top fantasy player.
I am not saying that fantasy managers should pass on the seven time All-Star - I just believe that he is less valuable than a player like Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog.
Other Dud forwards
Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Minnesota Wild center Zach Parise
San Jose Sharks right wing Martin Havlat
New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash
What players do you think will be fantasy studs or duds? Comment at the bottom of the page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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